I’m pretty sure that almost everyone I know who is likely to read this blog is also going to be quite familiar with director Michael Bay. But for anyone who isn’t, he’s the genius behind Armageddon, The Rock, Pearl Harbor, the Transformers trilogy, and the Bad Boys duology (let’s pretend that’s a word). In short, some of the finest films since Gone With The Wind.
But if that list of films doesn’t make it clear who Bay is and what he stands for, this short clip should explain everything:
Which brings me back to knitting. No, really, it does; you’re just going to have to be patient on this one.
On Wednesday, I went to knitting class. As mentioned in my last post, I had agreed the previous week to learn to knit a washcloth. And sure enough, Victoria was ready and waiting to teach. She was already halfway through her explanation by the time I could even sit down; if Victoria ever decides she wants to be a law school professor, she’d be a natural.
The washcloth design was based more on decorative style than actual utility. I later decided this was a good thing. You can give someone a decorative washcloth as a cheap gift, but giving a regular washcloth just says, “I think you need to wash.”
To do the decorative design, I had to learn a new technique, called “yarning over,” which results in stylish holes in the pattern. I was doing well with this for a while, but noticed later in the class that my knitting had ceased to create the holes. I consulted Victoria, and she informed me that I had screwed up. Screwing up in knitting was nothing new for me; I was already an old pro at that. But what came next was new. Victoria said I had reached the developmental stage where I shouldn’t just accept my mistakes, but instead go back and fix them.
For a second, I thought we were about to have a Back to the Future moment, with Victoria as my Doc Brown. We’d jump in the DeLorean, she’d say something about, “Where we’re knitting, we don’t need roads,” and we’d go back in time to before I messed up my yarning over. Then she’d get trapped in the Old West, and I’d fight some Terminators, and we’d have an Excellent Adventure (or possibly a Bogus one), hoping each time that the next leap would be the leap home.
But before I could even finish sorting out which time travel references belonged to which movies or shows, I realized I was wrong. Victoria wasn’t talking about a quirky adventure through time, she was talking about destroying my work. What happened next unfolded with the kind of over-the-top drama only Michael Bay could provide:
(See? I told you it would all tie together. Also, there are going to be some spoilers from various Bay movies in the following paragraphs, so if you don’t want to know that Bruce Willis dies in Armageddon, you really shouldn’t have read this sentence.)
Victoria snatched the knitting from my hands with a maniacal grin on her face. She explained that in order to get better benefits for her former Army buddies, she had to take a historic prison captive. For the sake of plot advancement, I ignored the fact that this doesn’t make any damn sense.
Victoria pulled a shotgun out of her purse. I pulled out the two pistols I had strapped to my back (because everyone carries that many guns in real life, right? Right? Right?). But before I could do anything, Victoria set off a massive explosion the blew me across the room. Sure, the blast logically should have killed or severely injured me, but instead it just messed my hair into an even cooler ‘do.
I looked up to see Victoria starting to pull out my incorrect stitches. Stitch after stitch fell by the wayside in super slow motion as a dramatic, John Williams-wannabe musical score yielded awkwardly to an awful Faith Hill song. As the yarn fell, it whipped wildly about, destroying building and bridges in a cacophony of collateral damage that, for some reason, no one acted all that concerned about or would even mention later. I looked over to Ben Affleck for help, but he was struggling enough just to vaguely simulate human emotions.
I crawled over toward Victoria, still in super slow motion. Giving a long, dramatic scream, I reached out and grabbed back my yarn. As I observed the damage done, I raised my arms and screamed again toward the heavens. As I yelled, it started raining, just to enhance the drama, even though there had been a shot of the sky just a frame earlier without a single cloud. Out of nowhere, a flock of doves flew by. (Sorry, that last one is John Woo.)
Or maybe it didn’t quite happen like that. But Victoria did rip out about four rows of stitches so I could do them again correctly; all that was missing was her saying, “And this time, don’t embarrass yourself.”
But redo I did, and by the time I finished my decorative washcloth a few days later, I was glad Victoria forced me to do it right. The result was the closest thing to perfect knitting I’ve yet accomplished:I’ve decided to give this one away as a gift, though I haven’t decided whom to. Preferably someone who appreciates things that in retrospect don’t really look all that impressive. And maybe someone with an appreciation of Michael Bay movies.